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Summer Reading 2021 Mystery Recommendations

See the full list of great reading recommendations for Summer 2021 here.

When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain

This is a wonderful can’t-put-it-down literary mystery for fans of Tana French or Rene Denfeld. Set in Mendocino County, the story focuses on Anna Hart, a San Francisco detective who has fled to her hometown after a family tragedy. When a local teenager goes missing, Anna finds herself instinctively drawn to the crime, and  the reader bears witness to the ways that Anna’s past and present start to merge in startling ways. This is a smart, captivating read, blending trauma theory, atmospheric writing, and an intimate character study of one woman’s quest to learn how to find trust in herself again. — S.M.C.

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When the Stars Go Dark: A Novel By Paula McLain Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593237892
Availability: This item is likely out of print! We may be able to order it from the publisher. If it's unavailable, we will refund you ASAP.
Published: Ballantine Books - April 13th, 2021

While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams is an established voice in literature, writing bestselling nonfiction about leadership and voter suppression as well as romance novels under the pen name Selena Montgomery. While Justice Sleeps is her mystery debut, and Abrams’s mastery of prose and talent for ingenious plotting is matched only by her insider knowledge of the US political and justice systems, making the book that much richer and more engrossing. I was hooked from the very first page. — Ksenia

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While Justice Sleeps: A Thriller (Avery Keene #1) By Stacey Abrams Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385546577
Availability: Backordered
Published: Doubleday - May 11th, 2021

The Lost Village by Camilla Sten

The remote Swedish mining town of Silvertjarn has been empty for more than 60 years. All of the residents in the quaint little village disappeared one day without a trace, and nobody knows what became of them. When Alice Lindstedt and her small crew arrive to film a documentary about the town, they enter an area with no phone reception or any other way of contacting the outside world. As things begin to go awry and people start disappearing, it doesn’t take Alice long to realize that she and her crew are not alone in Silvertjarn. Stern has crafted a mystery that is clever, creative, and creepy in all the best ways. — Jade

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The Lost Village: A Novel By Camilla Sten, Alexandra Fleming (Translated by) Cover Image
By Camilla Sten, Alexandra Fleming (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781250249258
Availability: This item is likely out of print! We may be able to order it from the publisher. If it's unavailable, we will refund you ASAP.
Published: Minotaur Books - March 23rd, 2021

The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson

London-based Nadine Matheson, a Black criminal defense attorney, has written an  engrossing debut procedural that features a number of familiar elements: the jaded veteran, the enthusiastic rookie, and a crime with eerie similarities to one years ago. But the strong, real-life touches—jury tampering, conflicts of being a person of color with the police, the pull between family and duty, the effects of PTSD on all of the above—make The Jigsaw Man stand out. An absolutely satisfying read. — Jocelyn

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The Jigsaw Man By Nadine Matheson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781335146564
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Hanover Square Press - March 16th, 2021

Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby

Beauregard “Bug” Montage managed to defy the odds, leaving a life of crime to start an honest business as a mechanic. But after a series of unfortunate financial setbacks, the stable life he has built for himself and his family begins to crumble around him. Bug sees no option but to return to his past profession: getaway driver. Cosby is a master of characters and his writing is visceral, raw, and evocative. I found that I couldn’t turn the pages of this exhilarating and immediately engaging book fast enough. — Jade

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Blacktop Wasteland: A Novel By S. A. Cosby Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250252692
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - June 1st, 2021

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

I devoured this #ownvoices Filipino American cozy, with its close-to-home (and heart) murder, its delicious food descriptions, and its palpably real stakes across multiple levels. Lila Macapagal is a bright and relatable protagonist whose journey of self-actualization—which leaves her dueling with familial ties, old friendships, and external prejudices—kept me thinking about her and her vivid community every time I had to (impatiently) pull away. Hungry for more, I can’t wait for Manansala’s next mystery. — Jocelyn

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Arsenic and Adobo (A Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery #1) By Mia P. Manansala Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593201671
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - May 4th, 2021

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Publishing has a diversity problem from the top all the way down to the books that get published. Nella, a Black editorial assistant, navigates microaggressions, half-hearted attempts at diversity committees, and barriers to career progress alone. Until Hazel is hired. She seems a comrade in arms, but something isn’t quite right. This book is a biting (but loving) critique of the publishing industry and a grip-your-seat thriller that will keep you guessing until the last second. You don’t want to miss it.

— Ivy

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The Other Black Girl: A Novel By Zakiya Dalila Harris Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982160142
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Atria Books - June 7th, 2022

Three Hours in Paris by Cara Black

An American sharpshooter with nothing to lose, a botched assassination, British espionage, a German homicide detective, dueling agencies, and countless disguises, close calls, and a near-invasion of Britain. That Hitler only ever spent three hours in the City of Lights during the Nazi Occupation has never been fully explained. Cara Black, veteran of Paris thrillers, builds on a few vivid days of the 1940 World War II struggle to spin out a gripping chase across hot summer streets that will keep you turning pages. — Jocelyn

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Three Hours in Paris (A Kate Rees WWII Novel #1) By Cara Black Cover Image
ISBN: 9781641292580
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soho Crime - March 30th, 2021

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